Sunday, December 31, 2006

An abortive BC story

8: Into the Abyss

The Observer stares at Rose.

Observer: Yeah. I haven't been called that in a while. Yeah, I'm the Doctor.

Jake: You look nothing like him.

Rose bashes Jake's gun away, furious.

Rose: What does that matter?! (to Observer) You came for us. You came back.

Mickey: No.

Rose: Shut it, Mickey.

Mickey: It's not him. Remember? He can't come back. This is the Doctor of this universe.

Observer: Such big talk. So, you two from another universe then? Fantastic! How's it done? I've always wanted to visit the universe where there was no shrimp! Imagine that! (rises) I'm the... well, the Doctor, but you can call me Observer if it's a bit confusing. I suppose I don't need to tell you lot I am a Time Lord from a planet called Gallifrey and when it comes to unusual, time distorting chaos like our friend Bunny over there, I know where of I speak?

Rose: (sighs) Not the Doctor.

Observer: But I'm sure I'll do in the meantime. Say, why don't you sit down, take that awesome weight off your feet. We have lots of stuff to discuss.

In Central Control, Deeka approaches a swivel throne. On this sits a well-dressed woman in robes, called Badwolf.

Deeka: The mutant was not terminated, Badwolf. We don't know what happened to it?

Badwolf: A creature like this suggests that the census is not truly affective.

Deeka: The census is working, Badwolf. The most we have detected until today was 0.0003 per cent imperfection. Our society is well within limits.

Badwolf: Where there is one creature, there will be more. The scriptures and the Holy Mother was very clear on this topic. Only perfection is allowed. Unless the creature is found by tonight, the Judgement of Humanity will take place.

Deeka looks horrified.

Deeka: You might kill millions.

Badwolf: Why not? They should already be dead in the termination centre. We must survive, Deeka. And survive as perfection - nothing less.

Elsewhere, everyone is listening to the Observer tell his tale.

Observer: I traced the signal and materialized just as Bell here was walking to his doom.

Ben: One of my luckier escapes.

Jake: Right. So... Mr Chatham here has pushed history off course and created a nightmare future, and we have to change it back now?

Observer: While the original one is frozen in time, time is unfrozen, if you get my drift.

Rose: In flux. It can be rewritten.

Observer: (surprised) Yeah. Exactly. And the Time Lords, gosh they hate that so much. In fact, a while ago, there was a talk of this multiverse conflict... (sees their expressions) Sorry. Don't get a chance to talk much nowadays. So, anyway, I think Bartolemew over here has established that your project to rewrite human DNA is pretty much a bad one.

Mickey: Don't worry, Doc, I just canceled it.

Ben: I thought she was in charge.

Mickey: (grins) Business restructure.

Rose: Oh, you are so sleeping on the couch tonight.

Mickey: Not enough room in the bed, anyway.

Rose: Oi! (smacks his arm) Look... friend. I'm not after conquering the world. I'm happy with it the way it is, but it's not gonna stay that way. People are sick, babies aren't being born. I put this off for so long. But if Pete Tyler's daughter takes it and her baby is fine, people will listen.

Ben: Will they? And is it worth the price?

Rose: What price?

Ben: There are people being killed, Mrs Smith! Being dragged into cells and slaughtered because their genes aren't perfect! And that's because of what you're going to do!

Rose: I don't want that! I'll stop it, I'll write a bible or something...

Observer: A book can be altered. Misinterpreted.

Rose: I can change it! It won't be like that... and I don't know if it IS like that! You're not the real Doctor, and this idiot (points to Ben) is so thick he doesn't realize that most of his campus hate his guts! Yeah, checked out the files at Cambridge. There are social diseases more popular than you! So why should I endanger the whole human race for what you say?

The Observer shrugs and shows her the photo of the Doctor.

Observer: I dunno what he was like. But if he was like me, he wouldn't lie about this.

Rose closes her eyes, as if in pain. After a moment she speaks.

Rose: My sister is called Angel. She is going to grow up in a world where the only other kids are mine. She's going to grow up in a world of old people, sick people, and no hope. (opens eyes) You think I'm going to let that happen?

Ben: Put your money where your mouth is then.

Rose: What?

Ben: Come on, Observer. Let's take a trip to the future. She if she's happy with what she's done!

Jake: No way, she's too delicate to go.

Observer: My TARDIS, very smooth, Commander. Come on. This is a once in a lifetime, never to be repeated look into alternative time. Guaranteed that no matter what we see, we can annul it. My people have destroyed whole solar systems for less.

The Observer rises.

Observer: Ready?

He strides towards the wall and vanishes. Ben follows. The others exchange looks.

Mickey: You up for this?

Rose: I'm right Mickey. And this will just prove it.

Mickey: All right. And if I'm right?

Rose: Then I'm going to be very scared.

She's not joking. They quietly walk forwards and vanish as well.

Jake is looking quietly freaked. Rose and Mickey wander around. The Observer works at the console. The time rotor starts moving.

Mickey: Nice. I like it. Better than the other Doctor's.

Observer: Well, this is a new model. Company car, you might call it. No soul, not like my old one. There we go. London, two hundred years in a future based on Rose pumping her child full of second hand alien gene bleach.

He turns to face the hexagonal scanner screen, which displays an image of the city, of the people in it and finally a huge statue we cannot see clearly.

Rose: All those people...

Ben: All? There's less people then there are now. And there are fewer all the time.

Observer: Every few hours, the people are subjected to a census. Anyone failing is taken away and atomized. Ironic, but they're facing extinction as well. They're not sterile, but they're cleansing themselves faster than they can replace their numbers.

Mickey: I don't get it. I mean, if they're all one kind of people, what's the problem?

Rose: Yeah. The chemical makes one type only.

Ben: Obviously then it doesn't work.

Rose: It does work!

Observer: Maybe some kind of later mutation in the cells? Getting worse all the time. Of course, instead of
evolving, they just cull their own numbers.

Rose: I'll stop this, I'll flood the internet with messages of what not to do.

Ben: What's to say you already didn't?

Rose: Look, they're human, they survived! They're out there now, building things, falling in love, doing what human beings do! It's what I wanted! OK, some nutters got a bee in their bonnet about genetic purity, I'll just make sure that...

Observer: Aye aye. Look at this.

The scanner zooms out to show a huge statue of Rose, cradling a toddler. Its base is marked ROSLYN SMITH - PERFECT FEMALE - HOLY MOTHER.

Mickey: Yeah. Made a big impression, eh, sweetheart?

Observer: Good likeness. You've become a goddess, Rose Smith.

Rose: Not the first time.

Observer: Well then, I don't know about you, but I think it's time for the second coming!

He operates more controls. The scanner zooms in on the statue head.

In a grand temple, a silver cylinder fills the centre of the room. Badwolf kneels in prayer before the cylinder. Other acolytes are present.

Badwolf: Oh Holy Mother, who saw the light of truth and made it burn like the sun in the hearts of all her children, I beg of you to share the knowledge with me. The good are threatened, the hope is lost, and the evil refuse to be vanquished. I beg of you to return and give me guidance.

She places her hands on the floor before the cylinder. A low whirr fills the air, followed by a wheezing groaning sound. The Observer appears.

Observer: Evening, all.

There are shouts and cries. Badwolf whirls to face him.

Badwolf: You... creature, how dare you profane the inner sanctum?

Observer: Please, please, no disrespect meant. And I'm not imperfect, I'm not even human. Not remotely. Well, once, but never again. I'm here as a visitor from my world, and I bring you a gift you could never dream of in a millennia of Sundays.

Badwolf: What is this... gift?

Observer: I've brought you your Holy Mother. Say hello to Rose Smith.

Rose appears beside him, followed by the others. All bar Badwolf fall to their knees.

Acolytes: It is her. It is her. It is her.

Badwolf: You are false. That is not the Holy Mother.

Rose: I am too. Statue not big enough for you to recognize!

Badwolf: You are not the Holy Mother!

Observer: She is. I am a Time Lord, and I have brought her through time to speak with you.

Badwolf: I have no need of this. I commune with the Holy Mother herself. I am Badwolf!

Rose rubs her eyes and shakes her head.

Rose: Bad wolf? I don't believe it...

Mickey: Seriously, is there an anecdote for that? Were you mauled as a baby or something?

Rose: Shut it, Mickey. Look, I am Roslyn Marion Tyler-nee-Smith. I dare say you can check my DNA and if you don't know what the real one is, then you're not much of a cult...

Badwolf: I need nothing. I know Rose Smith.

Ben: How? She must be dead by now.

Rose: Thanks a lot.

Ben: Come on, Mrs Smith, two hundred years, it's not surprising, is it?

Badwolf: She lives.

The cylinder opens.

Badwolf: She rests the rest of the just as the world keeps turning on the slow path. Imposters, behold the true holy mother!

Smoke inside the cylinder clears to show a blonde woman in a white robe. Jake, Mickey and Rose look on in horror. The Observer narrows his eyes.

Observer: The true Holy Mother?

Jake: (shocked) Jackie!

Mickey: (even more shocked) Jackie?

Rose: (totally shocked) Mum?

To be continued in 9: Harsh Truths

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